Author: Renee Ahdieh
Genre: Retelling // Young Adult // Romance
Publisher: G.P Putnam Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Source: Purchased (Amazon)
Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi's wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.
She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all (goodreads).
The Wrath & The Dawn will suck you in and have you in tears by the final pages.
Plot: Okay so call me late in the game, but I didn't know about the fantastic tale that is A Thousand and One Nights until about 5 years ago but I wish I had grown up with it so that I could understand all of the nuances in Ahdieh's tale. The Wrath & The Dawn is exquisitely written with a prose that will keep you flipping pages. To be quite honest, I didn't know if I wanted to give The Wrath & The Dawn the full five stars because there wasn't much depth to the world or the characters. It wasn't until about halfway through the book that I became wholly invested and my husband had to pry the book out of my hands and force me to go to sleep. It was hard man. I do believe that my tiny qualms with this book will be resolved by the second installment.
Characters: One thing's for sure, Renee Ahdieh can write badass females. Shazi is fearless and does not back down to a challenge. Her bravery is evident in the fact that she has planned to murder the king but that's just the tip of the iceberg. I appreciated her ferocity and it was interesting to see how she and Khalid moved together.
I liken this romance much to that of Cruel Beauty. Khalid willingly refers to himself as a monster and Shazi is not perfect in her own right. The two of them are imperfect but clearly perfect for each other which made their love so fragile and unique. While the secondary characters didn't get much love in terms of growth, they definitely played a part in the overall conflict and it was a surprise to see how everything fell together in the end.
World Building: You mean a book that isn't set in the United States or some fantasy world where only white people dwell? YES PLEASE. Even though there wasn't much to descriptors about the land, I very much felt like I was in the desert and with Ahdieh's handy glossary, I was better able to picture to people and their world.
Short N Sweet: The Wrath & The Dawn is a beautiful story about two people who find love in the most unusual situation. If I were to nitpick, I would ask for more characterization, even this, this book left me breathless.